GREENSBORO — North Carolina A&T State University is paying tribute to civil rights pioneer Franklin McCain, who was a freshman at the school in 1960 when he and three others sparked a movement of nonviolent sit-in protests.
About 900 people attended a memorial service Thursday at the Greensboro school.
Speakers included Joseph McNeil and Jibreel Khazan, the two surviving members of the college freshmen who sat on stools at the segregated lunch counter of the Woolworth store in downtown Greensboro and waited to place an order. Within weeks, sit-ins launched in more than 50 cities in nine states, and the lunch counter was desegregated within six months.
McCain was 73 years old when he died last week after a brief illness. His funeral will be held Friday in Charlotte.